If you live in a rural area they have to drill holes and put up telephone poles and maintain them from trees and ice. They put up meters and security lights, just to get you some electricity. They have to mine coal or drill wells to power this stuff.
Meanwhile you can go and buy an RV that runs or can run much of its appliances on 12 volts. I have heard of 22in flat screen tvs on 12 volts. We have 12-18-24 volt power tools. If we had propane tankless water heaters and maybe 24 volt very small load washing machines, Why do we need utilities?
The technology seems to be there to go to DC, just look at RV appliances or truck driver appliance stores.
I think one wind farm in the midwest could power the entire nation if homes went to DC. I have no expertise in this stuff but was looking for comments from hubbers that may have expertise in these fields.
Think you need lots of batteries, a generator and recharger, and the fuel to run the generator.
About 20 years ago or so, I wouldve laughed at the idea of battery operated /cordless drills, reciprocating saws, etc etc. I wouldve been right to say they would have no torque or power and would only last a couple minutes tops. Today some of these 18 volt power tools can break your wrist and run all day.
We have been trying to get 110 volts out of wind generators and solar panels,: to match our appliances- while the DC powered stuff has risen to the challenge.
What I am saying is we have spent a lot of effort trying to make wind generators and solar panels more efficient and cheap, but if they put more effort/technology into the actual devices and appliances the wind generators and solar panels are enough.
Yes I have read some about it and saw it on 60 minutes. It seems like they have been powering a large "plant " for some time. The stories are always sketchy and rare.
Kind of the point of this whole thread also. Are we being sold utilities that we dont need , but they aint gonna tell us?
Bloombox is the best thing I have seen.
Powers any number of places like maybe Sisco and whatnot. Problem is the patent.
He wants to keep it to himself, where is where the big chokehold to these things is.
Got company got to go.
Theres a few obstacles to overcome as far as I can tell.
Like driers, water heaters and heat in general. I think we have the technology to overcome them.
The houses we build today however are energy hogs. I have seen new 1/2 million 1 million dollars houses that an old lady could kick and punch her way through the bay window walls.
As newlyweds on a very tight budget we were met with this challenge ourselves and although we haven't completely gotten off the grid we're doing a lot of research on how to do it as quickly as possible. What we have done is found alternative ways to do some things. For instance by hooking up a rocket stove to your water heater you then have basically free hot water with twigs. If you can't have one in your house due to mortgage issues a simple connection could be made from one outside the house to the inside.
We dry our clothes on lines next to our woodstove in the winter and outside on lines the rest of the year. By removing the water heater and clothes dryer that alone has saved us a lot of expense over the past 1.5 years.
Forget about operating a refrigerator, air conditioner, water pump or even a fan with 12V.
Solar panels that can generate 110V or 220V are still quite expensive. And batteries are the worst part of this system, that need replacement more often than you may like.
by jesimpki4 years ago
If there's anybody using solar panels to generate electricity, how long have you had them installed and what is your total installed capacity (in watts or kilowatts)?
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If anyone has some great ideas of how to make easy upgrades to your house that would save energy?
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